Fraser off as Sheffield United teach Bruce a footballing lesson!
Sheffield United 1-0 Newcastle United
As bad as it gets.
A performance, even before the sending off of Ryan Fraser, just before half time, that quite frankly beggars belief. If this is a work in progress you have to wonder what Steve Bruce's ultimate aim is?!
In a game that really had to be a 'must win' for Newcastle United, Steve Bruce went with 5 at the back and 1 up front as they travelled to a side without a win in the league all season and only 2 points to their name.
And Sheffield United were in total control in the start.
Newcastle now have 6 games where they didn't manage a single shot on target in the first half. Two more than anyone else in the league. 'He's doing a good job' they say?
And when Fernandez was adjudged, perhaps harshly, to have handled in the box with a quarter of an hour left, substitute Billy Sharp would make no mistake from the spot to give the home side the lead they more than deserved.
With Brewster hitting a post and Schar furious that Sharp didn't see red for a blatant stamp being the only other notable moments of the game, the whole contest made pretty horrific viewing for anyone of a black and white persuasion.
Steve Bruce names a team with five at the back and just the one striker for a trip to Bramall Lane, with Wilson returning up front for the Magpies. There would also be a return to the starting lineup for Ryan Fraser with Miggy Almiron and Andy Carroll both dropping out the side.
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The first real chance of the game would fall to the home side. Neat build up play releasing McGoldrick who found himself with a clear run into the right hand side of Darlow's box. Only a very good save from the Newcastle stopper to deny a curling shot would stop Sheffield United from opening their account for the evening.
Sheffield United certainly starting the more accomplished of the two teams, not looking like a side stranded at the bottom of the table. Newcastle sitting with 10 men behind the ball from the off.
The first real chance for Newcastle United would fall to who else but Calum Wilson. A great cross after a rare foray upfield for the visitors ending in a wonderful cross from Hayden, but Wilson could only head just over from 6 yards out when on the stretch. A great and rare chance wasted.
Moment laster McGoldrick once again had the chance to put his team ahead. This time a far post cross to the Sheffield striker who would also head just over with the only real pressure coming from his own teammate.
And whilst Newcastle had a shout for a penalty turned away for handball, which would have been harsh, the home side went straight up the other end. This time Burke looked to race clean through having left most of the Newcastle United defence floundering. But with the Sheffield United striker about to slot home, in slid Fernandez from nowhere to throw EVERYTHING in front of the ball to save a goal.
And the onslaught continued. Next it would be Bogle to smash one on target. Again, Darlow having to be at his best in a crowded box to save his team.
Then just before half time, like things weren't already depressing enough, Ryan Fraser would get himself a pair of bookings in just a couple of minutes would see the player off for an early bath.
Fraser handing Steve Bruce his 'get out of jail free card' right there.
Into the second half and it would only get worse for Newcastle. Sharpe would run into the box arm in arm with Fernandez with both players pushing and pulling. In the midst of the tussle Fernandez was adjudged to have deliberately handled the ball, thus gifting the ex-Scunthorpe player the chance to score from the spot having just come on. He duly obliged. 1-0 and no more than Sheffield United deserved.
A stamp by the Blades goalscorer on the ankle of Fabian Schar would be inexplicably punished with only a yellow. The two players at each other for the remainder of the game.
Brewster then hit a post with an effort that would come back of a post and into the grateful arms of Darlow.
1-0 final score and absolutely shambolic.